April 2009 Archives
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Senator Peter Bragdon
April 29, 2009 (603) 271 - 2675
Senate Republicans Vote Down Transgender Bill
“Today was an
important victory in stopping the radical
“[Ray Buckley] is calling in every chit he can to win the vote later today. He met for over eight hours on Tuesday with the Senate Democratic Caucus trying to get the votes needed to
pass the marriage bill.”
Human Rights Campaign Field Director Marty Rouse (HRC.com, 4/29/09)
A Radical Out-Of-State Special Interest Group Credits Democrat Chairman Ray Buckley With Passing The Democrats’ Radical Agenda:
- Buckley has been “working hard behind the scenes” to pass the Democrats’ radical agenda: “New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley has been working hard behind the scenes to secure the votes needed to pass the bill. HRC worked closely with Buckley, legislators, community groups and local leaders….” (Human Rights Campaign website, 4/29/09)
- Buckley has been “working closely” with radical out-of-state advocacy groups: “National Field Director Marty Rouse has been working closely with Ray Buckley and other leaders in New Hampshire over the years, including on the marriage bill the Senate will vote on today.” (Human Rights Campaign website, 4/29/09)
- Rouse: Buckley engaged in backroom political deals and called in “every chit” he had: “[Ray Buckley] is calling in every chit he can to win the vote later today.” (Human Rights Campaign website, 4/29/09)
- Rouse: Buckley pressured lawmakers for “over eight hours on Tuesday” to pass the Democrats radical agenda: “He met for over eight hours on Tuesday with the Senate Democratic Caucus trying to get the votes needed to pass the marriage bill.” (Human Rights Campaign website, 4/29/09)
But Democrats Have Been Misleading The Public, Claiming That Ray Buckley Isn’t Involved In The “Legislative Battle” Over The Democrats’ Radical Agenda:
- NH Democrat Party Spokeswoman Victoria Bonney told the Concord Monitor that “Party staffers stay out of legislative battles:” “I asked Democratic spokeswoman Victoria Bonney, and she noted, rightly, that party staffers stay out of legislative battles.” (Concord Monitor, 4/26/09)
- Senior Democrat Party Advisor Kathy Sullivan said that Ray Buckley's job is “not to be a spokesperson on policy”: “There are a Democratic governor, a Democratic state [senate] president and a Democratic speaker, other Democratic officeholders elected by the voters to make policy or issues decisions. [Ray Buckley’s] job is to get Democrats elected, not to be a spokesperson on policy when there are elected Democratic officials who are making decisions on those policy issues.” (BlueHampshire, 4/13/09)
Why Is Ray Buckley Secretly Undermining Governor John Lynch?
Buckley Is Advocating For Same-Sex Marriage Despite Opposition From His Party’s Governor:
- Concord Monitor: “Gov. John Lynch, a centrist Democrat, has said he opposes same-sex marriage…” (4/24/09)
- Governor Lynch: “I think the word marriage is reserved for a marriage between a man and a woman.." (Union Leader, 4/16/09)
April 29, 2009 (603)225-9341
CONCORD – Today, former New Hampshire Governor and Republican State Committee Chairman John H. Sununu released the following statement on the radical Democrat State Senate supporting same-sex marriage:
“It’s clear that there was a lot of arm-twisting that took place yesterday in the Senate Democrat Caucus. The real test of course, will be whether Governor Lynch is strong enough to support his own statements of opposition to same-sex marriage and have the courage to veto this legislation. I certainly cannot believe the rumors that he is going to allow it become law without his signature because that, of course, would make it clear to the voters of New Hampshire that there is no capacity for leadership or accountability in the Governor’s office today.”
April 27, 2009 (603)225-9341
NH DEM CHAIRMAN SECRETLY ADVOCATING RADICAL AGENDA
DESPITE OPPOSITION FROM LYNCH
Dems Publicly Claim Buckley’s Not Involved In “Legislative Battles” While He Privately Pushes Radical Legislation
Democrats Claim That State Party Chairman Ray Buckley Isn’t Involved In The “Legislative Battle” Over The Democrats Radical Agenda:
NH Democrat Party Spokeswoman Victoria Bonney told the Concord Monitor that "Party staffers stay out of legislative battles: “I asked Democratic spokeswoman Victoria Bonney, and she noted, rightly, that party staffers stay out of legislative battles.” (Concord Monitor, 4/26/09)
· Senior Democrat Party Advisor Kathy Sullivan said that Ray Buckley's job is "not to be a spokesperson on policy": “There are a Democratic governor, a Democratic state president and a Democratic speaker, other Democratic officeholders elected by the voters to make policy or issues decisions. [Ray Buckley’s] job is to get Democrats elected, not to be a spokesperson on policy when there are elected Democratic officials who are making decisions on those policy issues.” (BlueHampshire, 4/13/09)
But In An Email Obtained By The Nashua Telegraph, Buckley Told Democrat Activists That It Was Important To Win The Recent District 3 State Senate Race Because It Would Boost Support For Same-Sex Marriage Legislation And The Bathroom Bill:
· Nashua Telegraph: “Buckley was right out front in this missive, saying Martin's support for same-sex marriage and transgender rights made this a bellwether election.” (4/26/09)
And Buckley Secretly Planned To Use A Martin Victory To Convince Other Senators To “Support” And “Pass” The Democrats’ Radical Agenda:
Ray Buckley - If Bud Martin wins, Senators "will more likely support these bills and pass them": "Many observers believe that if Bud can win in this Republican district with these issues being on the 'front burner' then others who represent other similar districts will more likely support these bills and pass them,” (Nashua Telegraph, 4/26/09)
· Buckley: "This could be an amazing victory – with your help!'' (Nashua Telegraph, 4/26/09)
Who Really Speaks For The New Hampshire Democrat Party? Ray Buckley, Or Governor John Lynch?
Buckley Is Advocating For Same-Sex Marriage Despite Opposition From His Party’s Governor:
· Concord Monitor: “Gov. John Lynch, a centrist Democrat, has said he opposes same-sex marriage…” (4/24/09)
Is Advocating For The Bathroom Bill Even Though His Party’s Governor Is
“Not Convinced” That The Legislation Is Needed:
Lynch Spokesman Colin Manning: "We are not convinced that the concerns raised by the supporters of [the Bathroom Bill] aren't already covered under existing law," (Associated Press, 4/9/09)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CONTACT:
Tuesday, April 28, 2009 Carrie Cantrell
REPUBLICAN GARCIA HEADS BACK TO
WITH VICTORY TONIGHT IN SPECIAL ELECTION
“Marilinda Garcia ran an outstanding grassroots campaign and we are excited about her win tonight. Garcia’s win for the House this week coupled with Bradley's win last week sends a clear message that commonsense, limited government solutions in state government are alive and well,” said RSLC President Scott Ward. “We are working to rebuild the Republican Party by building a farm team for the future at the state level. We are pleased to have supported Garcia’s campaign effort and to have her back on the team.”
The RSLC implemented a new media strategy focusing on the two special elections in
The Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the office of Attorney General, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State and State Legislator. The RSLC is the largest caucus of Republican state leaders in the country – making a national impact one state at a time.
RSLC has over 75,000 donors from all 50 states supporting the RSLC’s
goals to pursue a pro-growth agenda, including reforming the tax code,
healthcare and legal systems; promoting a better educational system;
encouraging sound energy initiatives; and advocating public safety
through tough, crime-fighting policies. During the 2008 election the
RSLC helped maintain the number of Republican Attorneys General and
Lieutenant Governors across the
Republicans Win Special House Election
Marilinda Garcia Returns to the Republican Caucus
Representative Marilinda Garcia is headed back to the State House in
"It is clear that
Marilinda's message of smaller government, less spending and lower taxes,
especially in this economy, resonated with the voters in
"While people are
losing their jobs and watching every penny, House Democrats in
election was held due to the resignation of Republican Representative Mark
Pearson, who took a job as town manager in
"Marilinda should be commended on her well-run campaign. Her team along with the New Hampshire Republican State Committee and the House Republican Victory PAC worked together to run this textbook campaign. I want to especially thank all of the Republican House members who volunteered their time phone banking, poll checking and going door-to-door to help bring back a fellow Republican," said Representative Packard.
John Sununu, the Republican State Committee Chairman praised Garcia for being a
great candidate with a solid commitment to traditional
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
DEMOCRATS CRITICIZE DEMOCRAT LEADERSHIP’S RADICAL AGENDA
unbelievable, this liberal agenda up here.”
Democrat State Rep. Mark Preston (Seabrook) On The Democrat Leadership’s Radical Agenda
New Hampshire House Takes A Hard Turn Left
Gloucester Daily Times
April 27, 2009
In a landmark session, the New Hampshire House of Representatives appears to many to be having an identity crisis.
400-member House — the second largest legislative body in the nation
— has never before been known as a bunch of social liberals. Dominated by
Republicans for more than a century, the body has held strong to the state's
historic conservative roots, voting down bills with liberal leanings that have
sailed through on Massachusetts' Beacon Hill.
But since January, House members have passed bills to abolish the death penalty, legalize gay marriage, allow the medical use of marijuana and force adults to wear seat belts, something the Granite State has resisted forever.
there was the passage of a bill to protect transgender individuals from
discrimination, which Republicans dubbed "the bathroom bill."
Although the 2007 elections put Democrats in control of the New Hampshire House, Senate, Executive Council and the Governor's corner office, even some New Hampshire Democrats are wondering what's going on in Concord, and if things are swinging too far left.
unbelievable, this liberal agenda up here," said state Rep. Mark Preston,
D-Seabrook, appalled that his colleagues in the House had approved the
elimination of the death penalty. "I never thought I'd see the day in New
Hampshire when a repeal of the death penalty would pass."
Neither was Preston, a police sergeant in Seabrook, happy about the House's decision to legalize marijuana for medical reasons, another bill he said he thought would never pass.
Seabrook Democrat Bette Thibodeau said New Hampshire Democrats have never
before been as liberal as their counterparts to the south, but that appears to
Husband and wife state Representatives Amy and Koko Perkins, R-Seabrook, made a simple statement recently that summed up their freshman year in the House.
place for conservatives, I can tell you that," Koko Perkins said not long
Twelve-year veteran state Rep. Al Weare chuckled when asked his impression of this session in the House.
very conservative individual, for these issues, it's kind of unbelievable to
see this happening in the state of New Hampshire. But, I think ultimately this
could backfire. They could end up with problems they aren't expecting. I think
it can have an adverse effect for some in the next election."
Republican pundit and Seabrook fire Chief Jeff Brown believes New Hampshire
Legislature's stray to the left on social issues is the result of years of
suppression by Republicans. Members of New Hampshire's Grand Old Party had a
hold on the legislative majority and kept their members in lock-step with conservative
party lines for decades.
In control for the first time in anyone's living memory, Democrats are grabbing all they can while they can, Brown said."Democrats are saying, 'Wow, lets get everything we can while we're in the majority,'" said Brown, who served in the House for years in the past. "But, they're also eating their young. They've forgotten who brought them to power."
CLICK HERE FOR FULL ARTICLE
April 24, 2009 (603)225-9341
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
NH DEMS “MISMANAGED” STATE SENATE CAMPAIGN
“[T]he N.H. Democratic Party, led by Ray Buckley, outspent the State Republican Committee…. Apparent financial mismanagement and weak support for Martin from the state party certainly didn’t help his cause, and you can’t help but wonder where the majority of the Dems’ campaign expenditures went—likely to pay Buckley and campaign staffers.”
The Granite State News On The NH DEMS Botched State Senate Campaign (4/23/09)
A Strong Message
Granite State News/Carroll County Independent
April 23, 2009
We were not at all surprised by the outcome of this week’s special election for the District 3 State Senate seat vacated by Bill Denley. As we warned in these pages last week, the unwillingness of Democrats to deal responsibly with the state’s fiscal crisis while devoting precious time and political capital to social causes most voters don’t support or see a need for would provoke a backlash. Bud Martin’s defeat by Jeb Bradley by a much greater margin than his November loss to Denley should send a strong and immediate message to the Democratic leadership to get back to basics and stop steamrolling social legislation.
By supporting Bradley, the voters across the 17 communities of District 3 rejected efforts by the most liberal wing of the House of Representatives to address social issues like gay marriage, transgender rights, mandatory seatbelt use and the death penalty as our state’s finances crumble. They said no to increased spending, which the House this month voted to fund with a $200 million tax package—including higher taxes on gas, tobacco and rooms and meals, which will no doubt have a negative effect on District 3’s towns, particularly the tourism hubs of Conway and Wolfeboro.
And while Bradley’s name recognition and 20-year record of public service led to higher campaign contributions, his victory can’t be attributed to resources. According to state receipt and expenditure records, Bradley had spent roughly $50,500 to Martin’s $30,000 as of April 15.
But records show that the N.H. Democratic Party, led by Ray Buckley, outspent the State Republican Committee $177,000 to $15,000, all the while maintaining less visibility in the press, where the GOP repeatedly hammered Martin for hiding a “radical” social agenda. Apparent financial mismanagement and weak support for Martin from the state party certainly didn’t help his cause, and you can’t help but wonder where the majority of the Dems’ campaign expenditures went—likely to pay Buckley and campaign staffers. The GOP wanted this seat more, and so did District 3’s Republican base.
Even without the District 3 seat, Democrats are still in the majority in the State Senate, so they can still rubber stamp the bills already pushed through the house. We hope they do not, but instead review the proposed legislation carefully and consider whether they are truly needed or simply “trophy” laws that demonstrate what can be done in a single-party state. We also hope they’re able to run our state more effectively than they run their State Senate campaigns.Otherwise in 2010 the Democrat majority may turn out to be the shortest-lived in New Hampshire history.
Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it. Four years ago the voters wanted change. In 2006, the Democrat party took control of both houses of the New Hampshire Legislature to add to their control of the Governor’s office. Like riding with a teenager sporting a new muscle car, it was pedal-to-the-metal and the New Hampshire House took a screeching left turn. Some things were comical, like the bill passed by the House (and killed by the Senate after much public ridicule) which would have made it a criminal offense to release a helium-filled balloon. Other things were profound, like denying parents the right to be notified when their minor child is given an abortion. New Hampshire citizens are very tolerant. However, they also treasure their traditional values and control of their own lives.
In the last election, the Democrat House majority was cut by 17 seats even tough the Democrats swept the federal elections. Why? Because voters were becoming alarmed by the profligate spending and social engineering. Sensing the peasants with the pitchforks may be catching up to them, they’ve pulled out all the stops in trying to steamroll their hard left agenda into law before voters speak again. Let’s pick 2 recent bills.
The biggest news is the passing of a Gay Marriage Bill by the New Hampshire House. While New Hampshire Democrat House leadership had told the press that Gay Marriage was a vote of “conscience,” the pressure brought to bear on dissident members whose “conscience” vote didn’t match the “conscience” vote of Democrat leadership was immense. After the bill was defeated on the first vote, several wayward representatives suddenly found “enlightenment” and changed their vote to allow passage. The rumor that additional splints and arm slings had to be rushed to the House nurse’s office to treat the many cases of “twisted arm syndrome” could not be verified.
The drive to make New Hampshire into San Francisco East didn’t stop at gay marriage. On that same day the House defeated, on a close vote, a transgender protection bill, colloquially referred to by opponents as the “bathroom bill”. While adding people who behave, act or appear as the opposite sex to the list of groups given special protection in the New Hampshire civil rights statutes, this confusing and poorly written bill became the poster child of political correctness run amok. While denied by proponents, there was real concern that a person, incurring a sexual identity crisis, could actually be afforded the right to access facilities that are restricted to members of the opposite sex, to wit: bathrooms and locker rooms - hence the term “Bathroom Bill.” Seeing that arm twisting tactics worked on the gay marriage bill, the social architects dragooned a 92 year-old representative who didn’t vote “correctly” to request reconsideration of the vote. And the arm twisting worked. After a 4-hour debate, the “bathroom bill” passed by one vote, but not before House Speaker Terie Norelli made an impassioned speech to rally her troops. Oh, and by the way, the extreme left majority in the House defeated an amendment that would have protected bathrooms! So it really is the “bathroom bill..”
Now it’s possible that some may agree with some of these actions by those in charge of the New Hampshire House. But, I dare say, few would argue that those in power in Concord have an agenda far more radical and different than New Hampshire’s traditional values. Even if the Senate kills these bills or the Governor vetoes them, does the New Hampshire House really reflect the attitudes and values of New Hampshire’s citizens? When you think of New Hampshire the movie image that comes to mind should be “On Golden Pond,” not “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Well, four years ago the voters wished for change. Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it. Be careful what you wish for, you might just regret it.
Manchester Millyard -- This Saturday, April 25, from 10 am to 1 pm, the New Hampshire Young Republican Federation will be holding its annual meeting at the Manchester Millyard Museum with featured guests former Governor and State Republican Chairman John H. Sununu, former Congressman Charles Bass and Mr. Fred Tausch, founder of STEWARD of Prosperity. All New Hampshire Republicans aged 18 through 40 are invited to attend this free event.
Additional business will include electing our 2009-2010 officers, candidate straw polls, refreshments, and words from both candidates seeking the Chairmanship of the Young Republican National Federation, Ms. Rachel Hoff and Ms. Audra Shay.
Candidates for office include: Kerry Marsh of Concord for Chairman, Rep. DJ Bettencourt of Salem for Vice Chair At Large, Kurt Strandson of Hooksett for Secretary, Mark Sanborn of Nashua for Treasurer, Jen Wrobleski of Dunbarton for National Committeewoman, Bob Burns of Manchester for National Committeeman, Grant Bosse of Hillsboro for National Committeeman, Joey Dauben of Plymouth for Vice Chair-Northern Region and David Chesley of Concord for Vice Chair-Southern Region.
“I am excited that New Hampshire Young Republicans can come together and celebrate the 200th birthday of our Republican 16th President, Abraham Lincoln. That the NH Young Republicans are being further honored by the presence of Governor Sununu, Congressman Bass, Mr. Tausch and our candidates for national office is also very humbling,” stated Marsh. “The New Hampshire Young Republican Federation is an active and organized group that are going to help take back New Hampshire in the next election, and it’s going to start right here in Manchester on Saturday,” concluded Marsh.
We return to the House on Wednesday and, unlike the first week of April when we had a couple of marathon sessions featuring a number of highly controversial bills, this week’s calendar is very light. In fact, there are only 20 bills on the consent calendar and three bills on the regular calendar. The session will begin at 1PM and the speaker has left the morning open for executive sessions. I would like once again to impress upon our members how very important it is to attend your committee executive sessions. If you cannot make it for any reason, please let leadership now in advance. If it is for medical reasons, we have the option of replacing you on the committee for the executive session.
I have scheduled a caucus for Wednesday at 12:30 PM (Rooms 305-07, LOB) in case something should come up between now and session day. I want to maintain an open flow of information between the caucus and our leadership team and our caucuses are a good platform to do this.
Crossover time is a good time for leadership stand back and take a good look at the first half of the legislative session—at things that we did right and at areas where we can improve—and we can always improve upon our methods and process. There area a couple changes that we will be instituting for the balance of this session.
Last week I began meeting with Republicans, committee by committee, to get their input on what we can do help members do their jobs, not only in committee but on the House floor as well. I intend to continue these meetings over the next couple of weeks until I have met with Republicans on everyone of our standing committees. The first get together last week was extremely helpful in gathering information from members of our caucus and beginning to develop strategy for the remainder of this session.
One of the changes that we plan on making concerns the white sheet that we issue on session day. Beginning with the next session, the white sheet will include every bill that is listed on the regular calendar, regardless of whether or not Republican leadership has taken a position on the legislation. Additionally, the white sheet will provide you with a breakdown of the Republican vote total on each bill. If a bill passes out of committee, 12-8 for example, we will let you know where the eight Republicans stood on the issue. Our goal is to give you an even better idea of where Republicans stood on every bill in helping you to be more informed when voting. This information will be gathered by our Republican Policy Leaders and the Committee Whips and will be passed along to the House Republican Office for use on the white sheets.
There has also been some concern when it comes to strategy on the floor, especially when parliamentary maneuvering results in a series of additional votes that may not necessarily show up on the white sheet. As a result I intend to name a House Republican Floor Leader who will be in charge of all floor debates, parliamentary inquiries and etc. Leadership also intends to be far more aggressive on the floor when it comes to the debates. I want to make sure that all of our members know exactly where leadership stands on every single issue that comes up for a vote. We should also all be on the same page when it comes to roll call votes because there are times when a number of Democrats will join us on an issue provided there is no roll call vote on the bill.
It is also important that we continue working together with the Republican State Committee, as well as our colleagues in the Senate to keep our constituents well informed as to what is happening at the State House. We have received some excellent press of late and we certainly don’t want to wait until November of an election year to start educating our constituents. This should be an ongoing process. Jim and Paul from our office have been meeting on a weekly basis with representatives from both the State Committee and the Senate. This has proved very useful in keeping everyone on the same page when it comes to getting the message out on important issues. Ryan Williams has done a great job in taking information provided to him by both the House and Senate and turning it into press releases, op-eds, etc.
If we keep our constituents well informed now about what the Democrats are doing in Concord, when the elections roll around, the voters will have a clear choice at the polls: that of taxing and spending or the Republican alternative that reduces spending and ensures that we live within our means.
A number of you have requested comparative figures for use in discussing the budget with your constituents. According to Rep. Kurk, our policy leader on Finance, the figures for the general funds (not the total budget), including regular and education spending, are $2.4 million for 2010 and $2.5 million for 2011 for a total of $5M for the biennium. This compares with estimated spending (not appropriations) for 2008 of $4.4 million and $2.4 million for 2009 for a total of $4.8 for the current biennium. This is a 3.9% increase. Of course, total spending increased even more, but that includes federal funds, and counts the stimulus and stabilization monies. The Republican budget totaled $4,740.2 for the 2010/11 biennium, a decrease of -2.6% from 2008/09 spending.
Once again, if you need assistance in getting out your message, our office can help you organize your thoughts and get them to the media in your area. Feel free to use information found in the Republican Report in writing letters and op-eds for your local newspaper.
I look forward to meeting with all of you over the next couple of weeks so we can formulate our strategy for the rest of the session together.
Wed., April 22 Republican Caucus—12:30 PM Rooms 305-307, LOB
House Session—10:00 AM
Thurs., April 30 Last day to report Senate bills going to a second committee.
Thurs., May 7 Last day to act on Senate bills going to a second committee.
Thurs., May 28 Last day to report all remaining Senate bills. Last day to report list of retained Senate bills.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Senator Peter Bragdon
April 15, 2009 (603) 271 - 2675
Senate Republicans Applaud Efforts to Rein
in Excessive Taxes and Spending in NH
“On a day
where Americans everywhere are protesting oppressive taxation by our federal
government, we have a chance to push against that tide here in
The state budget passed by the New Hampshire House and sent to the Senate contains the following taxes:
- NEW capital gains income tax
- NEW death tax
- NEW tax on gambling winnings
- Doubles the gas tax
- Increases the rooms and meals tax
- Increases the cigarette tax for the fourth time in 5 years
- Suspension of the insurance tax reduction
April 13, 2009 (603)225-9341
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
THE SPEAKER AND SENATE PRESIDENT’S
A Bathroom Battle At The Statehouse
Fosters Daily Democrat
April 13, 2009
Who drew up
the specs for the "luxurious lavatory" at the Statehouse, the same
people who gave the Pentagon a $640 toilet seat?
Republicans are cleaning up with their showering of Democrats with shots over the $72,000 cost of renovating a Statehouse bathroom.
Democrats are trying to fend off the blows in saying the project was to make the lav compliant with the American Disabilities Act. Did someone get word there was a federal bathroom inspector in the neighborhood when there was bipartisan support for the appropriation two years ago?
It will be pointed out that funding was approved before it was found the economy was being flushed into the political and social hopper. The answer to that has to be, "So what?"
Even in the best times, $72,000 for renovating a bathroom is a bit Kozlowski-esque. You remember Dennis Kozlowski — the Tyco tycoon who was convicted of misappropriating more than $400 million to support a lavish lifestyle that included decorating a luxurious company-owned apartment in Manhattan. Among the amenities of the redo was a $6,000 shower curtain for the bathroom.
Kozlowski was sentenced to eight to 25 years in prison for his excesses in misappropriating assets that belonged to Tyco's stockholders and is now mopping up in a way that is different from his days at Tyco.
And, of course, there were the Pentagon days of a $640 toilet seat and $7,600 coffee makers and Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger trotting up Capitol Hill to defend his department's outrageous procurement practices.
But back to the minor league bathroom excess in Concord.
Was the bathroom in question in need of repair? Yes, it has needed a going-over for several years. But to the tune of $72,000?
Frankly, the facility was overdone when it was designed and outfitted more than 80 years ago. Marble walls? A bit ostentatious, don't you think? We are talking about a public building in New Hampshire in the 21st century, not a palace or castle in 18th century Europe.
There are some people in government who think putting their best face forward means showing off in as regal a manner as possible. There are some elected officials who have some waking up to do — some who have to understand the perception of waste can be as bad as waste itself.
Put the two together and you have the beginning of a breakdown in confidence. And when a breakdown in confidence occurs, a breakdown in the ability of those in office to govern should not be far behind.
Senate Majority Leader Maggie Hassan, D-Exeter, was quoted in Foster's Daily Democrat Friday as saying, "This is a large public restroom, so $72,000 should be evaluated in that context."
Maybe it shouldn't be evaluated in the context of a restroom. After all, it is not a place where people go to rest.
Maybe we should redefine our thinking, come up with a better appellation while maintaining good taste in the naming.
Yes, there are more important considerations than the appropriate design and functionality of a Statehouse "loo." But credit some GOP members of the Legislature and the redesigned Republican State Committee, led by the sometimes sharp-tongued and always sharp-minded John H. Sununu, a three-term governor of New Hampshire in the 1980s, for converting a bathroom into an attention-grabber.
The bathroom issue will soon go away — as well it should. But it was something that allowed the GOP to run the Democrats around the Statehouse for several days — and it was the kind of thing that stirs the always changing imagination of writers and editors for a day or two or three.
Maybe someone will soon propose pay toilets in all state buildings.
The one thing certain is that all involved in the discussion will soon wash their hands of it.
April 13, 2009 (603)225-9341
MARTIN WANTS SEATBELT MANDATE
Candidate Continues To Reveal Support For Radical Democrat Agenda
CONCORD – In an interview in Sunday’s Concord Monitor, State Senate candidate Willard “Bud” Martin announced his support for a seatbelt mandate and continued to reveal his allegiance to the radical Democrat agenda advancing through the Legislature. Martin said that he supports legislation that would force New Hampshire residents to wear seatbelts – even on private property – or face steep fines. It also authorizes law enforcement officials to stop motorists who they simply suspect of not wearing a seatbelt.
“Bud Martin continues to show District 3 voters that he is a far-left politician who supports the radical Democrat agenda advancing through the Legislature,” said New Hampshire Republican State Committee Communications Director Ryan Williams. “It’s now obvious that Bud Martin’s attempt to portray himself as an independent minded candidate is just another example of the deceptive ‘smoke and mirrors’ strategy he is employing in this campaign.”
Martin also continued to confuse voters about his position on same-sex marriage, refusing to tell The Monitor if he would support a bill to establish it. He declined to give a “yes-or-no answer” on how he would vote on the legislation – despite telling Foster’s Daily Democrat on Friday that he would “support” it. In Friday’s Conway Daily Sun The Democrat State Committee gave a different explanation of Mr. Martin’s position, claiming that he was still listening to voters and would take a stand on the bill at some point “down the line.”
“Bud Martin has spent so much time trying to confuse voters that he is even starting to confuse himself. He's done such a thorough job trying to obscure his support for the Democrats’ radical agenda that not even Bud Martin seems to know where Bud Martin stands these days,” concluded Williams.
Yesterday Willard “Bud” Martin Revealed His Support For The Seatbelt Mandate:
Concord Monitor: “Mandatory seatbelts. Martin supports, Bradley opposes.” (4/12/09)
Willard “Bud” Martin Also Refused To Give A “Yes-Or-No” Answer On How He Would Vote On Legislation To Establish Same-Sex Marriage:
Concord Monitor: “Asked for his position on same-sex marriage, Martin didn't offer a yes-or-no answer…” (4/12/09)
But On Friday, Willard “Bud” Martin Told Fosters Daily Democrat That He Would “Support” The Bill:
Fosters Daily Democrat: “I support it, and I do because my experience tells me that it is important to our fabric as a community.” (4/10/09)
But On The Same Day, The Democrat State Committee Told The Conway Daily Sun He Wasn’t Going To Take A Position On Same Sex Marriage:
Conway Daily Sun:
“Bud is going to ensure he listens to his constituents,’ [Democrat
State Committee Executive Director Mike] Brunelle said of social issues.
‘And that all will be decided down the line.’” (4/10/09)
I have said all along that our caucus had to remain solidified when it came to votes on important fiscal matters and this week we far exceeded any expectations. In fact, on 14 crucial roll call votes dealing with HB1 and HB2 and their various amendments, House Republicans stayed together 98% of the time! As a matter of fact, on six of those crucial votes I am proud of the fact that we had 100% Republican support! That is the type of unity that will pay off in the next election. The voters of this state are watching and listening and, in November 2010, they will hold House Democrats accountable for what they have done this week.
Despite being faced with the worst recession in recent memory, House Democrats continue to ignore the current economic crisis. Instead they voted to unfairly raise numerous taxes while creating several new ones. What they have done this week will hurt our families and negatively impact the New Hampshire Advantage with the region for many years to come.
Their answer to this recession, which has lasted for 17 months, was to impose a capital gains “income” tax that will remove $75M out of the New Hampshire economy; impose an increase in the rooms and meals tax that will take $39M out of the economy; increase the tax on tobacco and take $57M out of the economy; impose a new estate (“death”) tax and remove $10M from our economy; create a tax on gambling winnings and take $16M out of the economy; nearly double the gasoline tax and, over the biennium, take $76M out of our economy; fail to fund school building aid and impose an $83M local property tax increase and take that amount out of the economy; and failed to fund municipal revenue sharing that will result in taking $50M away from local property tax payers.
If you add up all of their moves to raise taxes and downshift the financial burden to the local municipalities you are talking about more than $350M taken out of the New Hampshire economy. How will this effect NH families? A family of four, over the next biennium, will pay more than $1,000 in additional taxes. This is just not good public policy. House Democrats have adopted a budget that spends more than we can afford with our existing tax structure—the majority’s position of raising and spending more money is not only bad public policy but is irresponsible in the middle of a recession. In fact, it is just the opposite of what’s being done in Washington. We should not be acting contrary to the national position in trying to work our way out of the recession.
The Democrats “spin” is that whatever we pass over to the Senate, it would get “fixed.” But what they failed to mention is that, when we square off against the senate in a committee of conference, we are bound to defend the house position—a position of excessive spending and higher taxes. The right thing would have been to suspend the necessary rules, recommit the bill to the finance committee and instruct them to produce a budget that could be balanced without additional taxes. That would have been the right thing to do for the people of this state.
Once again, I cannot tell you all enough how much I appreciate your hard work and the fact the we remained together in our attempt to defeat the majority’s budget. We certainly will have a lot of fodder for future campaigns when we will hold the Democrats accountable for what they have done this week. With no session next week, we will not be holding a Republican caucus. The Senate bills will start coming over following crossover and we will be taking a closer look at many of the issues that we will be voting on in the coming weeks. I am hoping that our caucus will continue to remain solidly together.
|% of Reps||Dem.||% of Dems|
|HB 1-Majority Amend||99%||1||9||96%|
|School Building Aid Amend||100%||0||14||93%|
|Revenue Sharing Amend.||100%||0||11||95%|
|HB 1-Minority Amend||97%||4||2||99%|
|HB 2-Majority Amend.||100%||0||13||93%|
|Capital Gains Tax||100%||0||16||92%|
|Rooms & Meals Tax||100%||0||20||96%|
|Gambling Winnings Tax||97%||5||13||93%|
April 10, 2009 (603)225-9341
MARTIN FINALLY ADMITS SUPPORT FOR
RADICAL DEMOCRAT AGENDA
Martin Openly Supports Same-Sex Marriage, Opposes Death Penalty
CONCORD – Ending weeks of silence, Democrat State Senate candidate Willard “Bud” Martin today finally admitted his support for the radical Democrat agenda advancing through the Legislature. In an interview in today’s Fosters Daily Democrat, Mr. Martin came out in support of same-sex marriage and revealed his staunch, long-held opposition to the death penalty.
His admissions come at a time when the State Senate is set to consider a slew of radical bills passed by the House including legislation that will establish same-sex marriage and repeal the death penalty.
At the same time that Mr. Martin was discussing his support for the Democrats radical agenda, the Democrat State Committee was trying to mislead voters into believing that Martin was still considering the issues. In a story in today’s Conway Daily Sun, Democrat Executive Director Mike Brunelle deceptively claimed that Mr. Martin’s position on the death penalty and same-sex marriage “will be decided down the line.”
Martin also revealed that he has been an opponent of the death penalty “since he was a teenager” – despite the fact that he recently told WMUR-TV (3/29/09) that he had “absolutely not” made up his mind on the issue.
“Today, Bud Martin confirmed what everybody already knew – that he is a far-left politician who supports the radical Democrat agenda advancing through the legislature. Mr. Martin has deliberately tried to mislead the public by obscuring his actual positions on some of the key issues in this campaign,” said New Hampshire Republican State Committee Communications Director Ryan Williams. “It’s now obvious that Bud Martin is willing to do and say anything to get elected, and that he lacks the credibility required to effectively represent District 3 in Concord.
Willard “Bud” Martin Has Claimed That He Didn’t Have A Position On Same-Sex Marriage Or A Repeal Of The Death Penalty:
Sean McDonald: So you haven’t made any final decision on [same-sex marriage and the death penalty]? (4/9/08)
Willard “Bud” Martin: Absolutely Not. (WMUR, 4/9/08)
He Said It Would Be “Presumptuous” To Give A Position On The Issues:
Sean McDonald: Let me get your reaction this week to the House saying no to the death penalty, wanting to repeal that and saying yes to gay marriage. These are possible issues that you might face if you are selected for the senate. Give me your take on these things.
Willard “Bud” Martin: Here’s my take on that Sean. It’s very important that the voters know that they are sending somebody down who is going to listen and be accessible and then really do the responsible thing in a focused way and on these very important issues to the constituents out there, that’s my pledge. I’m not going to send out a postcard in advance on everything I am going to do, because that’s presumptuous. How should I make a decision on these critical issues without hearing from everybody? So we will have a hearing process - hearing rooms.
Today, Willard “Bud” Martin Told Fosters Daily Democrat That He Supports Same-Sex Marriage And Opposes The Death Penalty:
Fosters Daily Democrat: “The Democrat in the special Senate election was talking Thursday like the fiscal conservative he says he is while coming down against the death penalty and for gay marriage.” (4/10/09)
But On The Same Day, The Democrat State Committee Told The Conway Daily Sun He Wasn’t Going To Take A Position On Social Issues:
Conway Daily Sun:
“Bud is going to ensure he listens to his
constituents,’ Brunelle said of social issues. ‘And that all will be decided
down the line.’” (4/10/09)
April 9, 2009 (603)225-9341
EXCESSIVE STATE HOUSE RENOVATIONS
CONCORD – The New Hampshire Union Leader reports today that the Democrat controlled Legislature earmarked $72,000 dollars for pricey renovations to the State House bathroom used by Senate President Sylvia Larsen (D-Concord) and Speaker Terie Norelli (D-Portsmouth). The decision to fund the extravagant upgrades comes at a time when the Democrat leadership is refusing to make further cuts to state spending and trying to implement a 5% income tax on capital gains, an 8% death tax and a nearly 10% hike in the rooms and meals tax.
The recently completed bathroom, located on the third floor of the New Hampshire State House near the Democrat leadership offices, is adorned with “fancy new sinks, sconces and marble wall and counter top,” according to the Union Leader. Funding for the project was personally inserted into the 2008-2009 capital budget by Senator Margaret Wood Hassan (D-Exeter) - a member of the Democrat leadership who also occupies a third floor office near the luxurious lavatory. Senator Hassan downplayed the extent of the major overhaul when she initially proposed the renovations in 2007, calling them “repairs.”
On Tuesday, the New Hampshire Republican State Committee sent public records requests to Speaker Norelli, Senate President Larsen, Senator Hassan, Representative Daniel Eaton (D-Stoddard) and Administrative Services Commissioner Linda Hodgdon regarding the questionable redecoration.
“The extravagant renovation of the Speaker and Senate President’s bathroom seems like a gross misuse of public funds – especially at a time when the Democrats are claiming that we can’t cut spending and we must raise taxes,” said NHGOP Communications Director Ryan Williams, “We expect the Democrat leadership to fully comply with our requests for records regarding this excessive project because the taxpayers have a right to know how their government spends their money.”
CLICK HERE FOR A PICTURE OF THE SPEAKER AND SENATE PRESIDENT’S FANCY NEW BATHROOM
The Union Leader Reports Today That The Speaker And Senate President’s State House Bathroom Received An Extravagant $72,000 Taxpayer Funded Renovation:
Union Leader: “Wendelboe and state GOP spokesman Ryan Williams say the $72,000 item was contained in a much larger appropriation approved late in the 2007 session.” (4/9/08)
The Bathroom Includes Excessive Decorations:
Union Leader: “With the restroom recently re-opened, Wendelboe sent us a photo of its fancy new sinks, sconces and marble wall and counter top.” (4/9/08)
Senator Maggie Wood Hassan Added The Questionable Project To The 2008-2009 Capital Budget:
Senator Margaret Wood Hassan: “I offer Floor Amendment 2062s, and I’d like to speak to it if I could….[the amendment] also directs Administrative Services to make certain repairs to the women’s restroom on the third floor of the State House” (New Hampshire Senate Journal, 6/6/07)
April 8, 2009 (603)225-9341
PASSING BY ONE VOTE IN THE HOUSE
CONCORD - Today, former New Hampshire Governor and Republican State Committee Chairman John H. Sununu released the following statement on the Bathroom Bill passing by one vote in the New Hampshire House:
“The House vote on the bathroom bill shows how important one vote truly is. It is critical for the voters in State Senate District 3 to understand that they can’t let the Democrats gain another vote in the Senate or we will see more radical bills like this coming out of the Legislature.”
April 8, 2009 (603)225-9341
CONCORD - Today, former New Hampshire Governor and Republican State Committee Chairman John H. Sununu released the following statement on Willard “Bud” Martin’s desperate attempt to distance himself from the Democrat imposed rooms and meals tax:
“On the rooms and meals tax, Bud is ‘pulling a Buco.’ Mr. Martin is attempting to obscure his support for his Party’s radical agenda because he knows how politically unpopular the Democrat’s rooms and meals tax is in District 3. Although he may pretend to be against this tax, everybody knows that Bud Martin would be another rubber stamp vote for the Democrat’s disastrous 10% rooms and meals tax increase if he ever got elected to the State Senate.”
Representative Tom Buco (D-Conway) Flip-Flopped On His Pledge To Fight The Democrat’s Disastrous Rooms And Meals Tax And Voted For it:
Conway Daily Sun: “State Rep. Tom Buco voted for a Democratic-dominated budget he has admitted would saddle the local tourism industry with burdensome tax hikes, days after the Conway Democrat vowed to fight it.” (4/6/09)
Now The Democrat State Committee Is Trying To Fool Voters Into Believing That Willard “Bud” Martin Is Against The Democrat Imposed Rooms And Meals Tax Increase:
Democrat State Committee: “He does not support an increase in the rooms and meals tax…” (Conway Daily Sun, 4/8/09)
We also had Sean Mahoney come speak to us about the current economic environment here in NH; given that he is the Publisher of BusinessNH, he knows the lay of the land. Given that he is also the NH GOP National Committeeman, he knows how it will affect the political environment as well.
Video of the meeting can be seen by clicking on the Video guys below!
Welcome and Housekeeping Sean Mahoney
New Hampshire Senate Republicans
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Senator Peter Bragdon
April 8, 2009 (603) 271 - 2675
Hundreds of Jobs and Reliable, Safe Energy Preserved
Concord, NH – Today Senate Republicans led efforts to kill SB 152, which called for a months-long delay of a mercury reduction project now underway at the Merrimack Station power plant in Bow. The project will protect communities downwind of Merrimack Station by reducing mercury emissions 80%.
“Merrimack Station provides abundant domestic energy to nearly two-thirds of the State at the cheapest rates in New England. This legislation is egregious for infringing on public health and costing hundreds of quality, high-paying jobs and I am pleased the Senate voted to kill this measure,” said Senate Minority Leader Peter Bragdon (R-Milford).
“We support the hundreds of hardworking men and women working at the Merrimack Station in Bow and are happy to see this legislation won’t be moving forward,” said Senator Sharon Carson (R-Londonderry).
The scrubber installation was mandated by the Legislature in 2006 to protect New Hampshire's environment. “We recognized the public health hazard of mercury and implemented scrubber technology swiftly and in a bi-partisan manner three years ago," said Deputy Minority Leader Bob Odell (R-Lempster). "That health hazard still exists today. By killing this bill, we commit to moving forward with this important public health matter.”
April 6, 2009 (603)225-9341
Buco And Martin Support Higher Taxes Despite Concerns From Conway Area Residents And Small Businesses
CONCORD – The New Hampshire Republican Party today blasted Representative Tom Buco’s (D-Conway) flip-flop on the disastrous rooms and meals tax and State Senate candidate Willard “Bud” Martin’s support for higher taxes.
“Tom Buco’s flip-flop on the rooms and meals tax and Bud Martin’s support for higher taxes shows how out of touch the Democrat Party is with the concerns of New Hampshire voters. The last thing we should do during a recession is to raise taxes and shift the burden of our state budget crisis onto the backs of local taxpayers,” said New Hampshire Republican State Committee Communications Director Ryan Williams. “Politicians like Tom Buco and Bud Martin would rather appease the liberal Democrat leadership in Concord instead of standing up for the values and priorities of District 3. During these tough economic times working families simply can’t afford these ‘Bud & Buco’ tax hikes.”
The Conway Daily Sun reports today that Representative Buco voted for a nearly 10% hike in the rooms and meals tax only days after pledging to fight it. Buco supported the devastating tax even though he conceded that it would “saddle the local tourism industry” with a damaging burden. Local businesses had pleaded with him to oppose the tax, citing it’s adverse effects on the local economy.
Buco also supported the liberal Democrat leadership’s plans to implement a 5% capital gains tax and an 8% death tax that will hurt the middle class.
During his campaign for State Senate Bud Martin has claimed that state government should "get the horse before the cart" by imposing tax hikes on working families during a recession. Mr. Martin's pledged support for higher taxes comes at a time when the State Senate is set to consider legislation passed by the House that will establish a 5% capital gains tax, an 8% death tax and a nearly 10% hike in the rooms and meals tax.
Representative Tom Buco Flip-Flopped On His Pledge To Fight The Disastrous Rooms And Meals Tax And Voted For it:
Conway Daily Sun: “State Rep. Tom Buco voted for a Democratic-dominated budget he has admitted would saddle the local tourism industry with burdensome tax hikes, days after the Conway Democrat vowed to fight it.” (4/6/09)
Willard "Bud" Martin Has Discussed His Support For Higher Taxes During His Campaign For State Senate:
Martin: It isn't really about if we want this tax or that tax we have to start with what are the services - get the "horse before the cart." (WMUR-TV, 4/2/09)
Concord—In response to a state budget proposal from House Democrats that would cost the taxpayers of New Hampshire $133 million in additional property taxes, House Republicans today offered their alternative budget at a press conference held in Concord.
“Two years ago we warned that the Democrats were overspending and relying on over- inflated revenue estimates but they chose to ignore us,” said House Republican Leader Sherm Packard (r-Londonderry) “This time around we believe that it is necessary and appropriate to offer an alternative budget that better serves the citizens of this state,” he added.
Republican members on House Finance, led by Policy Leader Neal Kurk (r-Weare) and Committee Whip Doug Scamman (r-Stratham), worked to develop an alternative proposal that balances the state budget without creating any new taxes or raising any of the existing taxes. This is in contrast to a Democrat budget that proposes a capital gains income tax and an inheritance tax while ignoring the full legislative process of committee and floor votes. Their budget proposal also increases taxes on gambling winnings, doubles the gas tax, increases the rooms and meals tax by nearly ten percent and, for the fourth time in five years, raises the cigarette tax.
“We are living in a recession,” added Rep. Neal Kurk, “and in a time of recession it is bad public policy to raise taxes. Finance Republicans realize that and will present a balanced budget that asks the state to live within its means with a modest 2.6% budget cut over the biennium, the same kind of sacrifices we are making at home. Why should the state not do the same? The fact is, the Democrat budget will cost every man, woman and child in this state $300 and in this economy, it’s just too much.”
Unlike the Democrat-proposed budget, Republicans also restore $83 million in school construction aid and fully funds the state’s responsibility of state revenue sharing with local municipalities.
“We believe that we have come up with a budget that not only funds essential state services, but does so within existing state revenues,” concluded Rep. Packard. “It is clear that House Democrats are leading us down the road toward a sales or income tax with their tax and spend approach to state government.”
For further information
contact the House Republican Office
Time: 5:30pm Buffet Dinner ($14)
Place: Shanghai Restaurant
331 South Main Street
(see map below)
Reminder! May 29 - Lincoln Day MSS Mt. Washington Dinner CruiseSean Mahoney, NH National Committeeman and Publisher of BusinessNH
Topic: the current business climate in NH
Map to the Shang-hai restaurant:
One of the biggest reasons for the Right's decline in the Bush era is that we had long since completed most of the items on our to-do list. Low marginal tax rates? Check. The Soviet Union gone? Check. Welfare reform? Check.
This empty cupboard of ideas had led to progressively more minimalist Republican governing agendas and campaign platforms. If John McCain proposed any big, game-changing policy shifts in the last election, I must have missed them. It's true that Obama's ideas were not new either -- but he was able to sell them as "change" because they had been not tried in toto since the Johnson Administration, and people had forgotten how badly they had crashed on the rocks their last time out. Obama's central thesis -- that government ownership and central planning can outpace returns in the private market -- is actually very, very old. His playbook is that of FDR in 1933, Attlee in 1946, and Mitterand in 1981.
The effect on the Right even before Obama had been so corrosive that the institutional right was utterly incapable of offering any competing thesis of the economic crisis, leaving government ownership and bailouts as the only "appropriate" policy response. Even the previous Administration, made up of men of the Right, justified the bailouts -- and particularly the auto bailout that precipitated the White House putsch at GM -- as inevitable, "temporary," "emergency" measures.
Fast forward two months into the Obama era. Pro-forma denials of nationalization and socialism aside, the White House feels responsible enough for the insurance and automobile industries to dictate their management and maximum salaries -- the classic hallmarks of ownership. The Federal budget has swelled to $3.6 trillion, and revenues cover barely half the bill. To an extent probably never seen before in our history, there are no consequences for business failure, no consequences for individuals who took out loans they couldn't pay for, and no consequences for government that overspends.
The Welfare State mentality of the '60s that created the conditions for 1980 and 1994 systemically excused bad behavior at an individual level, creating millions of individual tragedies. Obamanomics systematically excuses bad behavior at the wholesale macroeconomic level, creating a vicious circle of irresponsibility with major consequences for every American.
If nothing else, the first 70 days of Obama -- with an assist from the last 4 months of Bush -- has left government economic policy so off-kilter that it may take a decade or more to fix. Remember that exhausted to-do list? Not a problem any more.
For the first time in decades, Republicans could run on a platform of cutting government by a third and not seem wild-eyed or mean-spirited. When we talk about the dangers of governments running private businesses, we will have contemporary object lessons to teach with, not bogeymen that are decades old or oceans away. When we talk about getting the government out of our lives, more people will nod their head knowing exactly what we mean, having just footed the bill for bailout after bailout, instead of yawning or dismissing it as a non-issue as they did in the prosperous, laissez-faire post-Reagan America.
The end result of this agenda, the size of government at 2007 levels, may seem minimalist in any broad sweep of history, but it is galvanizing in a way it wasn't before because of the sheer scope of what's changed in six months. The yawning gap between where we are now and where we were two years ago gives conservatives an ambitious goal to reach for and a reason for being again, even if the end result is little change over time. And if we get a mandate to actually cut government significantly -- and I think the public mood will shift there in a few years if not sooner -- it might not be that much harder to cut it to below pre-Obama or pre-Bush levels because current levels are so out of whack that people would not be able to tell the difference between that and what the status quo was in the mid-2000s -- only that it is change.
Though it has apparently triumphed, this is a dangerous moment for liberalism. Long-planned moves toward redistribution like universal health care or the repeal of the Bush tax cuts are being conflated with and to some extent elbowed aside by emergency nationalizations and Mr. Geithner's experiments. The White House is not selling the de-facto AIG and GM nationalizations as such, because they know the stigma the S-word carries. It becomes harder to sell the long-standing liberal policy agenda as urgent and necessary when the Administration is busy putting out ten different fires first. And after Year One, it becomes exponentially harder for a new President to push wants instead of needs.
Meanwhile, it becomes easy for Republicans to point to real-life consequences of government control to nullify the entire Obama agenda. Screw ups like the AIG bonuses will inevitably happen and be magnified by the fact of government investment, and this will have a chilling effect on the public's view of interventionism more broadly in areas like health care. Barack Obama standing behind your new muffler will not be looked upon with warm and fuzzies in the years to come. The best case for Obama is that this time in history is seen as sober and necessary. But that's not a rallying cry and a movement-builder. The right will be galvanized to action by the theft of the free enterprise system. What will the left be galvanized by?
Practicing Politics in the Twitter Era: If we are to speak of the age of online politics -- and I am not certain that we should -- let's say we've lived through the Blog Era (2001-04), the YouTube Era (2005-08) and now we are in the Twitter Era (2008-?). This screen shot of a blog post at Media Matters (of all places) juxtaposing tweets from Newt Gingrich and Matt Cooper -- proof alone that everyone in Washington is using Twitter -- provides a useful snapshot of the how Twitter works alongside the blogosphere (rumors of its death still exaggerated) in moving political messages online:
So the Right had a vibrant 'sphere in the post-9/11 Warblogging Period, which drifted after the 2004 election, as frustrated soon-to-be-ex-Pajamas Media bloggers can tell you. The Left owned the YouTube era, which happened to coincide, not coincidentally, with President Bush's second term. Their political blog infrastructure was developed largely on the participation of bloggers and blog readers, not anyone using Twitter yet, most of the time because Twitter did not exist or see any significant usage until SXSW 2007. (You know who I can't find on Twitter? MoveOn.)
For at least a year now, the Right again has been leading the way on an Internet-based communication platform. So far it's to organize for Conservatism somewhat broadly as a unifying cause. Top Conservatives on Twitter is not quite a MoveOn for the Right -- a whispered-of but ultimately mythical animal not unlike the "Party-in-a-laptop" idea popular with some Neoliberals -- but it could have more value as a list than Gingrich's own Drill Here, Drill now efforts and even the (also short-time) #dontgo message it spawned last August. These new conservative projects are often built around Twitter itself. Sometimes this results in really annoying tweets, but at this point the right is doing more interesting things in this space. Twitter is smaller than Facebook, but makes up for it in volume of press hits (hopefully someone with Nexis can back this up for me) and news reports that its traffic is about to go all hockey-stick. Maybe it will go Galt as well.
Conservatives also have other, much older infrastructure whose blogging component counts a few successes but still relies on decidedly Web 1.0 websites, and so hasn't taken as big a hit in the Great Blog Crash of 2008-09. And like companies of the dot com crash (including Google itself), the concepts and websites that clawed their way out of the rubble did not and will not bring back substantial returns in the short run. Twitter, by its sheer simplicity, is kind of a Long Tail product in that we can (and often seem to actually do) use it in spare moments between the day, which means its audience could approach that of e-mail (especially since, you know, you need an e-mail account to join Twitter). Either could build that kind of reach, depending on who experiments more through the rest of the arbitrary era proper.
Using #TCOT vs. No Hashtags Whatsoever:
According to Internet marketing blog Hubspot, the right's #TCOT momentum means it vastly outnumbers the hashtags left-leaning Twitter users and bloggers... er, aren't listed as using, not here at least. Hmm. So which hashtags do the left use?
Pause for dramatic effect.
Turns out the left-verse doesn't do hashtags at all, that I could see from checking these accounts over the weekend:
My question for the Left is whether the port side of the Twitterverse will adopt the same habit of hashtags that moves stories -- and if it does, whether it will even be led by the Kos-Greenwald-Marshall-Hamsher-Klein-Stoller-Yglesias Netroots movement. (Note: In the comments at Blog P.I. a fellow Twittizen points out there is a website collecting progressive hashtags: Tweetleft. And as she observes, organized hashtag use lies beyond "'the usual' accounts.")
And my question for the Right is whether they know any of the Top 5 Conservatives on Twitter, because I haven't got a clue.
MARTIN CAMPAIGN’S HISTORY OF PERSONAL ATTACKS EXPOSED
-Conway Daily Sun On The Martin Campaign’s Politics Of Personal Destruction (4/3/09)
Top Martin aide canned from 2006 Democratic campaign after Nazi flap
Conway Daily Sun
April 3, 2009
The Bud Martin camp has deployed a ruthless “hired gun” — a campaign manager who once posed an opposing candidate in Nazi regalia — to eviscerate Republican opponent Jeb Bradley in the race for state Senate, the GOP is complaining.
“They brought in a specialist in campaigns based on personal attacks and distortion instead of discussion of the issues,” party chair John E. [sic] Sununu said in a release this week attacking Martin campaign guru, Joe Elcock.
Elcock was fired from the 2006 Coleen Rowley campaign for Congress in Minnesota after the campaign doctored a photo of GOP opponent John Kline to look like Nazi Col. Klink from "Hogan's Heroes," the GOP revealed this week.
Elcock, who did not return a phone call Thursday, has attempted to blame a lower-level staffer. The Rowley campaign meant it as a humorous stunt, but it fueled outrage and an apology from Rowley, conservative Web site Granite Grok reported.
“In a bizarre and contradictory statement, Elcock also said, 'It wasn't the intention of the campaign to make John Kline look like a Nazi,'" GraniteGrok reported.
WHERE HE STANDS ON MAJOR ISSUES
-Conway Daily Sun On Willard “Bud” Martin’s Refusal To Discuss His Campaign Platform (4/3/09)
GOP: Martin Hiding From Death Penalty And Gay Marriage
Conway Daily Sun
April 3, 2009
Republicans are pouncing on a refusal by Willard “Bud” Martin to take sides on controversial gay marriage and death penalty legislation, less than a month before a special election could make him the deciding vote in the state Senate.
The Sandwich Democrat in a weekend TV interview declined to weigh in on bids to repeal the death penalty and legalize same sex marriage, two bills that passed the Democrat-controlled House last week.
Martin told WMUR in the interview aired Sunday he didn't want to send a “postcard” telegraphing how he'd cast votes, noting he'd first grant “hearings” to constituents.
He also said taxes had become a “pejorative” and that voters should first consider if they want to “fix the potholes” and then figure out how to pay for services.
The state arm of the GOP blasted Martin for “praising higher taxes” and tiptoeing around hot-button social issues to hide his liberal bent.
“Bud Martin needs to stop dodging the issues and answer questions about his support for the radical bills coming through the Legislature,” said New Hampshire Republican State Committee communications director, Ryan Williams.
“Working families simply can’t afford Bud Martin’s disastrous tax and spend agenda,” he added.
But Martin, who was not gentle attacking Denley's record as a one-term state representative, has walked into a new level of combat with Bradley. The battle-scarred heavyweight, fighting for his political life after two tough losses, has seized on two polarizing social issues that are even splitting some Democrats.
Gov. John Lynch, who has campaigned in person for Martin, Thursday said at an appearance in Hale's Location he still believed marriage was "between a man and a woman."
CLICK HERE FOR FULL ARTICLE
April 2, 2009 (603)225-9341
CONCORD – In his latest interview with WMUR-TV yesterday, Democrat State Senate candidate Willard "Bud" Martin continued to duck questions about his positions on the death penalty and same-sex marriage while explaining his support for higher taxes. He claimed that state government should "get the horse before the cart" by imposing tax hikes on working families during a recession.
Mr. Martin's pledged support for higher taxes and refusal to define his positions on pressing issues comes at a time when the State Senate is considering a slew of radical bills passed by the House. This includes legislation that will establish same-sex marriage, repeal the death penalty, and impose a 5% capital gains tax, an 8% death tax and a nearly 10% hike in the rooms and meals tax that would devastate New Hampshire's tourism industry.
Martin, a current public office holder, also made the patently absurd claim that it is inappropriate for candidates to discuss their views and principles while campaigning.
"Bud Martin continues to show a total lack of respect for the intelligence of New Hampshire voters. People want their candidates for public office to take clear stands on the major issues instead of dodging basic questions about their positions." said New Hampshire Republican Party Communications Director Ryan Williams. "Bud Martin owes the residents of District 3 a clear and upfront explanation about why he supports the liberal agenda currently advancing through the legislature."
Willard "Bud" Martin Refusing To Take A Position On The Death Penalty And Same-Sex Marriage:
- Martin: It would be presumptuous of me to take a position on something that I haven't had an opportunity to hear from everybody on. What I do pledge is that I will be responsible once i hear and understand the issues.
Willard "Bud" Martin Explaining His Support For Higher Taxes:
- Martin: It isn't really about if we want this tax or that tax we have to start with what are the services - get the "horse before the cart."
CLICK HERE FOR FULL VIDEO OF WMUR'S SENATE DISTRICT 3 CANDIDATE PROFILE
April 1, 2009 (603)225-9341
CONCORD – Today, former New Hampshire Governor and Republican State Committee Chairman John H. Sununu released the following statement on the Democrat’s efforts to hide their legislative game-playing from the public:
“It’s a disgrace that the Democrats again are keeping secrets from the public by violating legislative procedure. Their ‘let’s-not-let-the-public-know-what-we-are-doing” straw poll in the Senate Rules Committee today is a violation of the public’s Right to Know, as was the Democrat’s stealthy straw poll in the House Ways and Means Committee two weeks ago. But what can you expect from a Party whose candidate in the District 3 special election is telling the public: I don’t have to tell you my positions while I am running for public office.”
Two Weeks Ago The Democrats Held A Stealthy Straw Poll In The House Ways And Means Committee:
Union Leader: “Republicans were angry that Democrats seem to be short-circuiting the usual legislative process, in which bills get an up-or-down vote both in committee and on the House floor. They said they will try to divide each tax bill out for separate votes, but don't know if Democrats will agree.” (3/20/09)
-Senator Judd Gregg On President Obama’s Reckless Budget
A Budget To Beggar Us
The Washington Post
Senator Judd Gregg
April 1, 2009
When speaking with the hardworking New Hampshire families and business owners whom I represent in Washington, I hear the same concerns echoed by Americans across the country. People are worried about keeping their jobs, their homes and their savings safe. They ask, "When will the economy recover? What kind of economic future will our children have?"
These questions are not easy to answer. Yet I believe that over the next couple of years, the country will recover from this severe recession. We are an inherently resilient nation.
Our longer-term future is harder to predict, though, especially since the Democratic Congress is on the cusp of adopting President Obama's budget blueprint. This is a defining budget. It shows very clearly where the president and the Democratic majority want to take our country: sharply to the left.
There is no doubt that the president came into office facing significant economic challenges. To stabilize the economy, he has been forced to take aggressive steps, some of which may have been necessary to avert a systemic financial collapse.
But don't be fooled when the president says the economy he inherited is the reason that future deficits and debt skyrocket.
April 1, 2009 (603)225-9341
POLITICS OF PERSONAL DESTRUCTION
CONCORD – Today, former New Hampshire Governor and Republican State Committee Chairman John H. Sununu released the following statement on Bud Martin’s campaign manager’s long history of dirty politics:
“Everyone wondered why the Democratic State Committee would bring in a political ‘hired gun’ to run a New Hampshire State Senate special election. Now we all know why. They brought in a specialist in campaigns based on personal attacks and distortion instead of discussion of the issues. We now find out that this political operative had been fired from a 2006 Minnesota campaign after doctoring a photograph in an attempt to portray the opponent – a decorated war veteran – as a Nazi. This Democrat strategy of basing the District 3 race on personal attacks now explains the almost comical performance of the Democrat candidate last Sunday on TV when he said he wouldn't discuss issues in the campaign because it would ‘send a postcard out in advance on everything he was going to do’ if elected to the Senate.
“Campaigns based on personal attacks and avoiding discussing the issues of taxes, spending, efficiency of government, and short-changing our cities and towns seems to be business as usual for the New Hampshire Democrats.”
In 2006, Bud Martin’s Top Aide Joe Elcock Managed Minnesota Democrat Colleen Rowley’s Congressional Campaign (The Hill, 2/2/06)
Elcock’s Campaign Posted A Picture Depicting Their Opponent – A Decorated War Veteran – As A Nazi:
- “In a tersely worded letter Monday, Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.) asked his Democratic opponent, Colleen Rowley, who made national headlines in 2003 as an FBI whistle-blower, to stop depicting him as a Nazi on her campaign blog and to apologize immediately.” (The Hill, 2/2/06)
Elcock’s Attempts To Smear His Opponent Were Harshly Criticized:
- “Your attempts to smear my good name and 25 years of honorable service in the United States Marine Corps by equating me to a Nazi shows a lack of perspective, a lack of seriousness and a lack of good judgment,” [Kline] wrote. “You should be ashamed of yourself.” (The Hill, 2/2/06)